The Water Cycle

Water is Everywhere & Essential

  • It's everywhere: in oceans, rivers, lakes, glaciers, and more

  • It's essential: we and our cells are mostly made up of water, and there would be no life on Earth without it

That’s why it’s important for us to learn about water and how it moves around our earth in what we call the water cycle.

The Cycle

Energy from the sun drives the water cycle, in which water moves from the ground to the air and back again.

Steps of the water cycle:

  • Evaporation: This occurs when the sun heats up water and the water changes from liquid to gas, which rises into the atmosphere.

  • Condensation: When the gas (water vapor) cools, it goes from gas to liquid, forming the clouds you see in the sky.

  • Precipitation: The clouds let out rain, snow, sleet, hail, etc. and the water falls back from the atmosphere to the ground.

  • Flow and Runoff: Water moves along the ground in bodies of water (such as rivers) and runoff, which is when extra rainwater runs over the Earth’s soil.

When the sun heats this water, the cycle starts again.

Water Pollution and Conservation

Since water goes through a cycle, the amount of water on Earth always stays the same. We only have so much water, so we must conserve it and keep it clean.

Ways water gets polluted:

  • Runoff, which picks up soil and chemicals such as fertilizer

  • Trash thrown in rivers, lakes, and oceans

  • Oil spills

Ways to conserve water:

  • Turn off the faucet when you brush your teeth or wash dishes

  • Take shorter showers

Just by doing these simple things, you are helping conserve Earth’s water supply!

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